Saturday, January 28, 2012

Top 5 Reissue Record Labels: Rhino and Rhino Handmade

We continue with our list of best reissue music labels, in no particular order.

Rhino is likely the label many folks think of first when it comes to reissue labels. The company has earned a justifiably great reputation for putting out excellent reissues, particularly box set compilations.

Some of my all-time favorite music releases are Rhino products. They've done a great job mining garage/psych/pop treasures in their  Nuggets releases, 1960s soul in its Beg, Scream, Shout set (shaped like a vintage carrying case for 45 r.p.m. singles), rockabilly and early rock'n'roll in its Loud, Fast and Out of Control box, plus excellent collections of doo-wop and surf.

I also enjoy their collection of Jack Kerouac's spoken-word recordings and their top-notch Burt Bacharach compilation.

They've also released a box set and numerous single-disk compilations of 1970s guilty pleasures, plus loads of Monkees releases (the Monkees and Rhino are nearly synonymous).

A large section of my iPod's hard drive is filled with songs from Rhino releases. It's on permanent shuffle, and it's great to have all those great songs, both hits and obscurities, pop up as I'm listening.

Rhino certainly caters to musical obsessives, but when they really want to turn it up a notch, they'll put something out on their Rhino Handmade label. This is where they issue sometimes less known or more cult material -- all excellently packaged and mostly in limited release.

Handmade products include an awesome collection of soulman Wilson Pickett's Atlantic recordings, a reissue of Jan and Dean's Carnival of Sound and a deluxe edition of the Monkee's Head LP.

Check out the Rhino site here.

Here's a list of some of Rhino's most popular releases. Click  the links to order discounted items from Amazon:

Bradley's Barn by the Beau Brummels

Atlantic Recordings by Percy Sledge

The Smiths Complete

Weird Tales of the Ramones (Bonus Dvd)

Genesis Box Set 3 (1970-1975)[13 Disc Set]

Mythology (4 CD) by the Bee Gees

Faces Box: Five Guys Walk Into a Bar by the Faces

Keep An Eye On The Sky by Big Star

What It Is!  Funky Soul And Rare Grooves (1967-1977)

Where The Action Is! Los Angeles Nuggets 1965-1968

Friday, January 27, 2012

Pop Culture Roundup: Painted Batman trading cards, McCartney to score video game, Sienkiewicz's Godzilla, Kubert's Tarzan!

The Comics Alliance looks at the wonderful 1960s Batman trading cards featuring painted art by Norman Saunders.


Paul McCartney told German newspaper Die Zeit that he's composing music for a video game. No details as to the game, theme, or publisher.


Comics artist  Bill Sienkiewicz has provided the cover art for a Criterion Edition DVD of the original "Godzilla" film.


The Comic Book Catacombs spotlights the excellent covers Joe Kubert created for DC Comics' run of Tarzan.

Video: Wilco meets Popeye

I'm not sure what spurred this summit, but here's a new Wilco video featuring Popeye:

Deal alert: one-hit-wonder downloads .69 cents at Amazon

Amazon is offering downloads of "Tequila," "Sugar, Sugar," "Rubber Duckie" and a bunch more one-hit-wonder tunes for only .69 cents. Check 'em out here.

Top 5 Reissue Record Labels: Bear Family

We continue our no-particular-order look at the best reissue record labels with Germany's esteemed Bear Family.

This label leans toward super comprehensive compilations of important and overlooked American country western and early rock'n'roll music. Bear Family's box sets are behemoths, many including hardcover books that detail the history of the highlighted artist and the recordings in minute detail. They're also quite expensive. But you get a lot for the money.

Apart from the boxes, Bear also releases single CDs, some in series, such as the That'll Flat Get It rockabilly compilations and its Sweet Soul Music rhythm and blues collections.

The label also has an extensive list of live-performance DVDs by the likes of Eddie Cochran, the Collins Kids, Marty Robbins and others.

If you're a lover of real country music and roots rock'n'roll, you'll find lots of treasures on the Bear Family site. They also have a great printed catalog that's lots of fun to browse through and fantasize over.

Here's a look at some of Bear Family's popular releases. Click the links to order discounted items from Amazon.

Dim Lights, Thick Smoke & Hillbilly Music: Country & Western Hit Parade 1964

Chuck Berry Rocks

Live at the Star Club, Hamburg by Jerry Lee Lewis

Rockbilly Boogie by the Johnny Burnette Trio

The First 10 Years: 1956-1966 by Bill Anderson

Heartbreak Hotel - Gonna Shake This Shack Tonight by George Jones

The Wondering Boy (1951-1958) by Webb Pierce

See You Later, Alligator by Bobby Charles

Sweet Soul Music - 29 Scorching Classics 1968

Blowing the Fuse: 27 R&B Classics That Rocked the Jukebox in 1949